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Cuban Mojito Burgers

My parents fled Cuba as children in the early 1960's and have made Miami their home for the last 46 years. They entertain a great deal in their lush tropical garden and a staple at their parties is the Mojito- a refreshing mint, lime, sugar and rum concoction It's a reminder of their happy childhoods in Havana when my grandparents would host garden parties in their homes and guests would talk, laugh and dance late into the night.


Rum Caramelized Onions:
1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tablespoon dark rum
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
Mint-Lime Mayonnaise:
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon minced fresh mint
1 teaspoons sugar
¾ cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
2 pounds ground chuck
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 garlic clove, crushed
3 teaspoon finely grated lime rind
2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
Vegetable oil for brushing grill rack
6 sesame seed buns, split
1 jar pimentos, drained


Preheat a gas grill to medium-high or prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover. To make the rum caramelized onions, combine the onion, olive oil, rum and salt in a 10-inch non-stick, fire-proof skillet, cover with a lid, and place on grill rack. Cook the onion mixture for about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are caramelized and most of the liquid has evaporated. Remove the pan from the grill and set aside. To make the mint-lime mayonnaise, combine the lime juice, mint, sugar, mayonnaise, salt and pepper in a small bowl and mix well. Refrigerate until serving. To make the patties, combine beef, cumin, garlic, lime rind, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form the portions into patties to fit the buns. When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover and cook, turning once, until done to preference, 5 to 7 minutes on each side for medium. During the last few minutes of cooking, place the rolls, cut side down, on the outer edges of the grill rack to toast lightly. To assemble the burgers, spread a generous amount of the mint-lime mayonnaise over the cut sides of the rolls. On each roll bottom, place a beef patty and 1 or 2 pimentos. Add the roll tops and serve. Makes 6 burgers.